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Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Learning to read is not just about letters and sounds but is based on crucial skills that begin at birth and build on relationships and experiences during infancy and early childhood.

At the beginning of Grade R, before letter sounds and letter recognition are learned, I encourage my class to become storytellers by looking at a wordless picture and chatting about what they see and what they think will occur.

They soon develop great imaginations, confidence to express their thoughts audibly, age-appropriate sentence structure and thought development. Most beneficial to sentence writing in Grade 1.

Take time with your child to develop:

· Vocabulary

Parents should identify objects and encourage their children to call them by the correct names. Baby talk e.g. doggie for dog, yum yum for food, bottie for bottle etc., is not advantageous to your child. Always say the object’s name and not just hand over items when children point and do not talk.

· A communication-rich environment, i.e. oral language

Chat about events, ask questions, allow your child to predict what will happen in the story. Children will start to model sentence structure, the vocabulary used and logical reasoning and thinking. · Read aloud Storytime

This is a time in which not only special individual attention is given to your child, but it is also an opportunity to reinforce language, concept development and book handling skills. Choose a book that relates to your child’s experience, interest and needs. · Exposure to reading and writing

This allows the child to understand that print and visual text convey a message or a story.

Keep in mind to point to the words as you read so that the child can follow.

Your child will start recognizing common words incidentally and get excited to identify letters or words.

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